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African Accomplishments, African Potential

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First time attendeedAt the recent Summit in Botswana, Board Members and volunteers from the US saw firsthand that our libraries are thriving, and the teacher librarians have a great deal to teach each other and us.

Pictured here are first time Summit delegates Joel Wakesa from Rongo University and Abbas Swaleh from Project Humanity, who soaked up our best practices and contributed new ideas about how to create great rural libraries in Western Kenya.

 When we visited eight ALP libraries, the entire school community turned out to welcome us with dancing, skits, reading demonstrations, tours of the library and songs about libraries and reading.

teacher librarians The parents and teachers, like these at Ketlogetswe Primary, are just as excited about the libraries as the kids are. 

At the Summit, delegates from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, and Swaziland made presentations about their unique approach, progress, and challenges in turning ALP books into vibrant libraries. We were delighted by all the achievements in library development, especially because many successes came from previous sharing of best practices with each other. We then worked on solving some of our toughest challenges, getting ideas from others who have solved the problem in a way we hadn’t imagined.

Ghana accomplishments.jpegOur partners in Ghana proudly shared their accomplishments, including winning a national award for their work. 

Ninety-seven teacher-librarians from all over Botswana joined us for three days of workshops and celebrations.  The 38 international delegates collaborated to design and teach workshops on measuring impact, library management and creating a culture corner in the library.  The highly interactive workshops offered a free flow of teaching and learning.  The teacher librarians taught each other, and they taught us.

teachers teachingThe teacher-librarians also loved learning to teach reading through games.  How many words can you make from the word “grandmother”? 

We left the Summit knowing that more libraries are needed and with the confidence our partners in Africa will make sure that future libraries will also change lives, book by book. If you want to help support this work and show that Americans believe in Africa’s potential, please sign up to do a book drive.